Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMFBNP) assisted by the World Bank, is to hold two Virtual Peer Learning Events (PLEs) on “Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technology to Strengthen Land Administration and Property Taxation” at the subnational level.
In a statement signed by the Senior Programme Manager of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum SFTAS Technical Assistance Project, Olanrewaju Ajogbasile, explained that the Peer Learning Events are part of several capacity building efforts aimed at supporting the effective deployment of GIS at State-level. He added that efforts are underway to provide States with GIS data, orthophotos of property mapping and software to support enumeration.
According to the forum, States that would be able to update their property records before 30th June 2021 to capture at least 50 percent of the properties that have electricity connections in urban areas, will each get $2 million in performance grant under the World Bank funded States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Program for Results.
The forum stressed however, that these property records must reflect accurate information about the name of the owner/occupier, size of the land parcel, size of the building, use of the land/property amongst other criteria required by the programme to be able to qualify for the grant.
The NGF noted that States are at varying stages of GIS deployment with Kaduna, Kogi, Lagos, Oyo, Nasarawa, and Gombe States leading the way.
These leading states will at the Peer Learning Events, showcase their deployment experience and avail aspiring States still early in the process of deployment, an opportunity to break free of challenges that could derail and hinder GIS deployment at State level.
Ajogbasile who shared the invitation disclosed that the two Peer Learning Events (PLEs) will hold on November 5th and 16th. He noted the States were determined to get it right this time and ensure old mistakes are not repeated, thus, the need to learn from the experiences of others who have led the way in GIS deployment.
Olanrewaju opined that GIS deployment and the consequential benefit of holding accurate land and property records will bring sanity to land administration across the country while ensuring that fair and right taxes, fees or levies are charged.
He submitted that at least 160 persons will be in attendance at both events including State actors, partners and implementing agencies on the SFTAS programme.
Amongst the State officials to attend are States Project Managers for the GIS deployment, Directors of Lands (Ministry of Lands/GIS Agency); Directors, Property Tax (State IRS); and States SFTAS Focal Persons.
Each State as part of efforts to strengthen the land administration system, will engage relevant civil societies and associations including the citizenry to ensure smooth implementation of critical reforms that may follow.